v. trænsˈfɔrm; n. ˈtræns fɔrmShow Spelled [v. trans-fawrm; n. trans-fawrm] verb (used with object)
1. to change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose.
2. to change in condition, nature, or character; convert
Randi, age 34, has been working to transform everything in her life since her clean date of December 22, 2010. Everything in her story – before and after recovery – is a depiction of determination and stunning contrasts.
FamilyBefore: Randi spent her early years growing up in an abusive home where drug use was the norm. She left at age 13 and was homeless for 6 years, into drugs and the crimes that go along with them. She re-connected to her dad and step-mom at age 19. Even she could see that they wanted to be there for her but it was such a foreign feeling that she flitted in and out of their lives, never sure how to handle their genuine concern. In prison in 2004, she realized she was pregnant. Getting out of prison as a single mom was not easy. She went to Central City Concern’s residential treatment facility for pregnant/parenting moms in 2008 and did ok for a good while. Her son was a motivation – she wanted to be a good mom. She stayed clean for five years, held a job, got her own place and her son back from DHS. In 2010 though, she relapsed and rapidly lost everything. She was ready for a true change.
After: Randi surprised her dad and step mom by asking them if they could take her son for a while so that she could check into treatment. It was an expression of trust that gave her parents hope. Maybe things would be better this time. Today, she drops in frequently. She has a close and strong relationship with her 9-year-old son. He gets to play with his cousins regularly. She joins in the monthly girl time her step mom gently urges with all her daughters. Last year, Randi invited everyone over for Thanksgiving dinner.
in photo from left: Randi's dad Lewis, Randi, her mom Lori and son Cole in center.
HousingBefore: After prison, Randi slept on a lot of couches and in a lot of motels. It didn’t help her potential for lasting recovery. She didn’t have true friends and she never stayed long anywhere. She would breeze through her parents’ house sometimes and eat a little. Then, be gone again.
After: Today, Randi lives in Central City Concern’s family housing that is a supportive environment for families in recovery. She has many peers who she relies on as well as a parent mentor who coaches her through the rough spots with grace and humor. Her son has seized many rich opportunities there, like basketball camp with the Blazers, and Easter egg hunts on the central lawn. He relishes having his own room, chores, responsibilities, pride and most importantly, security that his mom will be there in the morning. Every morning.
Self-SufficiencyBefore: Dealing drugs paid for a place to sleep on most nights and after Randi first got clean, she worked for a while at a fast-food restaurant. Her high school years were fractured so she got her GED in prison. She didn’t have a vision for what she might do in the work world.
After: Randi is on the dean’s list at the local community college. Soon, she’ll transfer to a four-year college and she aims for a BA in criminal justice. A self-sufficiency program manager at Central City Concern helped her get a driver’s license again and connected her to meaningful employment. For the past seven months, she has worked full-time for a county reentry program specifically for women. She has a caseload of about 26 women. Her work is a daily reminder of how far she has come. She is really good at what she does. Parole officers now seek out her advice. She is strong and confident and does everything in her power to bring the same to others. She is changed.